Mid-State Community College (MSCC) Board of Directors
Leslie Batten, Andrew Fair, Terry Hobgood, Amy D. Matthews, and Anne
RE: Supplemental Budget Request for MSCC Libraries DATE:May 1, 2011 In April of this year it was announced that budgets for community colleges in North Carolina are to be cut by ten per cent. It is anticipated that the libraries at MSCC will shoulder their fair share of cuts, in order to meet mandated reductions to the overall college budget. We do not know yet which current services will be cut, and our users have grown in size and need over the past few years. Therefore we are requesting new funds to balance the cuts and maintain high quality information service to students and faculty. The mission of the MSCC Library is to provide access to excellent information resources, instruction and service to our community of users. We serve the needs of MSCC as a whole, which draws its main student and user base from Guilford County, North Carolina. The mission statement for the college states that MSCC provides access to lifelong learning opportunities for personal growth, workforce productivity, and community service. We serve all segments of Guilford County's diverse population of over 470,000 people, delivering quality educational programs and services, through partnerships with business, community groups, and other educational institutions. The MSCC community has seen a steady increase in enrollment in the last few years, pushing the current enrollment to its highest level yet. In the five years from 2006/07, the numbers enrolled in curriculum programs have increased year-on-year by 26%. The enrollment in continuing education programs over the same period has increased by 16%. Our diverse array of degree granting and certificate programs, over 70 in all, requires varying and specific information needs. Allied health programs such as Nursing need access to certain databases and resources in order to maintain accreditation. Other programs, ranging from disciplines as various as Accounting to Welding, also have specific needs that only their library can fulfill. Despite the impending cuts to our budget, we believe we have come up with some innovative ideas that will allow our growing numbers of patrons to continue benefiting from our services. With your support we will reduce pressure on our library staff, streamline the grant-writing process and apply for new grants, begin providing laptopcheckout for users, increase our ESL collection, and have exciting new fundraisers to bring about money and awareness to our library. Reducing Pressure on Staff The demands on library staff have increased significantly recently, as student enrollment has grown, especially in the area of library and Information literacy instruction. But the operating budget has not made concessions to hire new library staff members to account for the increased demand. The authors would aim to try to ease some of the existing workload on library staff so they can more evenly distribute their
time. One way to do this is to lessen the amount of time librarians spend in the classroom and preparing lesson plans. While library instruction is arguably one of the most valuable and important library services, and shouldn’t be altered to the point where it’s detrimental to students, streamlining the library instruction curricula as much as possible will help free up time. If the library were to produce a bank of lesson plans and tools, only requiring minor modifications depending on discipline, it would save time because the teaching librarian(s) would not have to start from scratch. Another option is to record library instruction sessions initially and make them available to subject instructors to work into assignments, homework or lesson plans. The library could also capitalize on the wealth of online information available, including “libguides” and lesson plans. The library could opt to become a member of a program such as Springshare’s Libguide, a paid service that provides a great wealth of instructional tools. If the library can’t afford the cost of these tools, the Library Orientation Exchange (LOEX), a clearinghouse produced by Eastern Michigan University, offers links and information for free, with a journal and other publications available for a membership fee. Finally, the library could collaborate with one or more of their consortia partners to develop online instruction programs for similar disciplines. While the time input may increase in the short term, the anticipated payoff would be a saving of time in the long run. Another way the library can cut the demands made on the time on library staff is to utilize local library students who are seeking practical workplace experience. Interns, volunteers and practicum students can help with library instruction, helping to create a more streamlined process. They can also help with daily tasks, such as reference and circulation duties, freeing up librarian’s time to attend to other priorities. Streamlining the grant-writing process Seeking grant funding from external sources has some very interesting upside potential outcomes for MSCC. Unfortunately, the grant application process can be very time consuming, with no guarantee of success. Potentially, significant amounts of time can be spent, with failed applications causing frustration for all involved. Following conversations with two freelance grant writers, we are proposing a staged process to obtain external sources of “new” money. Grant writers charge from $35 to $60 per hour (and up) and their time is usually billed on a per hour basis. A moderate-sized Federal grant typically takes about 40 hours to complete. Therefore, taking a fee of, say, $50 per hour, the expenditure of $2,000 becomes significant, particularly as there is no guarantee of success. So, we are proposing an initiative where time and financial obligations are ramped up slowly and in stages. (There is a full-time grant writer who works for the college and it is anticipated that she would be encouraged to be involved at every stage of this process). Stage 1: The library would elicit the help of a small number of volunteers, hopefully recruiting MSCC alumni with grant writing or research experience. The volunteers would be used to sift and then short-list potential grants that are on offer. Stage 2: References and resumes would be sought from potential local freelance grant writers. Short preliminary interviews would be held, where the parameters of the project would be explained, with the clear expectation that they would have to work
closely with the volunteers. Stage 3: The grant writer teaches a workshop to the volunteers and any interested parties within the library and wider college community. This class would fully articulate the goals of the project and teach the volunteers how to identify and evaluate potential grant prospects. Stage 4: If, and only if, suitable grants are identified as prospects, final negotiations would commence with the grant writer to establish estimated costs and assessments made of potential rewards. Stage 5: If this process is successful, the grant writer might conduct a series of classes on how to write grants. Faculty, staff and any volunteers that might be interested could attend these classes. If there were sufficient interest, then spaces on the course could be offered to the wider community, with the potential of generating external income for the college/library. Stage 6: The grant writer, possibly assisted by any of the volunteers who might be interested, would then write the grant(s) identified as strong prospects in the above process. Apply for specific grants Our preliminary research has revealed that there are a number of potential grants available for community colleges and we include a group below to illustrate the range and scope: â€˘
The Community Foundation: This grant program is based in Greensboro and was established to give those institutions that feel that they can provide for the community the money they need to do this. Grants are awarded to several areas, including education. Money awarded from this grant can be as high as $10,000. There are three opportunities a year for applicants to receive funding: February, June and October. Previous grant winners include such similar institutions as Greensboro Public Library Foundation and Greensboro Historical Museum. http://www.cfgg.org/receive/grant_community_grants â€˘
High Point Community Foundation: Similar to the Greensboro Community Foundation, this grant program caters to the High Point community. Ranging from a few thousand to over $50,000, this grant program helps a wide range of organizations. Similar institutions who were awarded this money were Friends of the High Point Library and Greensboro Historical Museum. http://www.hpcommunityfoundation.org/ â€˘
The Weaver Foundation: The Weaver Foundation is also based locally in Greensboro and has a similar focus. Unlike the other foundations, the Weaver Foundation focuses on new North Carolinians, among other more common areas like youth and community development.
This grant might potentially be awarded to MSCC for expanding the ESL language services to newcomers to the state and country. Recently, this grant has awarded several similar organizations including the GTCC Foundation, Greensboro Public Library and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. http://www.weaverfoundation.com/grants/index.php •
Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian: Sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, this grant offers money to institutions for professional development for their librarians. In order to better equip existing library staff, this grant would allow us to provide up-to-date training, with a focus on technology and the provision of services to a more ethnically and culturally diverse population. http://www.imls.gov/applicants/grants/21centuryLibrarian.shtm Laptop Program In order to expand the library’s computer services, we are suggesting a circulating laptop program for students in need. The computer services in the MSCC libraries are currently limited to desktop computers within each library. Expanding computer services by adding laptops would increase students’ use of library services and help those MSCC students who do not own their own computer. Laptops are ideal for students who need extended amounts of time on a computer to do online research and write papers. Our suggestion is to begin this program for internal-library use only initially, giving students approximately four hours of use. Laptops could also be given to students to use over the weekend hours when the library is closed. Initially, we are looking to fund twenty circulating laptops, hoping to eventually expand that number to fifty. Building ESL Resources According to the American Community Survey and the United States Census, the population of those whose native language is not English, has grown by over 10,000 in Guilford County since 2000. In order to better serve this population, MSCC should provide increased resources within the library. Providing access to language learning and community information would ease the transition of these thousands of new residents to Guilford County. MSCC already provides ESL classes at the Greensboro campus, but access to online resources, such as Mango Languages, would help serve ESL community members throughout Guilford County. Other multimedia resources and software could be added to the collection for circulation. Funding for these resources should be obtained from various local grants, including the Weaver Foundation that specializes in funding for new North Carolinians. Outreach The MSCC Library has a Twitter feed (that is displayed on our website) and a Facebook page, but more can be done to provide timely information to our users. The
Friends of the Library exists, but the Wiki and blog they started have not been updated in over a year. The Library and Friends of the Library should together promote the library to the public in order to have more fundraising options. One way to do this is to hold an annual book sale. Many libraries do a book sale during National Library Week in midApril, although another time to consider would be November. Before the sale the library will ask the Guilford County and MSCC community for book donations. This can be done through local news organizations, the college’s website, Facebook page, and an email listserv to students, faculty, and staff. The Friends of the Library is a volunteer organization, but it is also promoted through the MSCC Foundation which collects donated funds for the school. The Foundation can help bring the Friends of the Library back to life, and the Library can lend help or support for their community outreach. The library would also like to conduct a “needs assessment” survey through the community; to find out what patrons think is still missing from the library. Faculty, staff, and students may have different needs from the library, and they should have an established and timely method to voice their needs. Having a survey at the end of each semester would give us a designated time to process them. The community can be enticed to fill out the survey by holding a raffle for all participants, with the award being gift cards donated by local businesses. Conclusion The demands placed on our library are growing while our funding is shrinking, which makes it difficult for us to fulfill our mission to our community. We have several innovative ideas that bring about new services, collect money from outside sources, and increase efficiency for our staff in order to account for our lack of new hires. Some of these ideas require initial funding from you, and we hope you see that your contribution will lead to vast growth of our services. We are only asking for an amount of money that is 8.5% of our total budget, but it could lead to possible funds that are double our annual budget. These dollar-for-dollar investments will be much less expensive for MSCC than if we do nothing and watch our community falter and shrink due to lack of resources.
Operating Expenses for 20092010 Staff Salaries (10.55 staff) Staff Benefits Interlibrary loan Computer hardware, software, and maintenance Bibliographic utilities, networks and consortia Office supplies, travel, misc. Serial Subscriptions Total
$409,500.00 $104,500.00 $404.00 $24,759.00 $13,328.00 $16,700.00 $21,450.00 $590,641.00
Funding Request for New Library Programs Plan Item Required Cost Springshare's Reduce pressure on staff Libguides $900.00 Freelance grant Streamline grant writing writer $10,000.00 Laptop Program 20 Laptops $24,000.00 ESL Resources Mango Languages $10,000.00 Books $5,000.00 Total $ Requested $51,900.00 Potential Income Sources Minimum Maximum Laura Bush 21st Century $1,000,000. Librarian $50,000.00 00 The Community Foundation Grant $1,000.00 $10,000.00 High Point Community Foundation $3,000.00 $50,000.00 Weaver Foundation $10,000.00 $50,000.00 Book Sale $500.00 $2,000.00 $1,112,000. Total Possible Income $64,500.00 00
Final budgetary recommendations